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Prophecies? We Don't Need No Stinking Prophecies!

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Prophecies Are A Pain In The Ass". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: How would things have changed if Harry Potter was raised by the Scooby Gang?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Xander-Centered
Multiple Crossings > General
GreywizardFR1838161,6642671601848,14825 Feb 0620 Feb 14No
CoA Winner

Chapter 35 - "More Than Meets The Eye..."

Author’s Note 1: Many thanks to Bill Haden and Theo (Starway_Man) for beta-ing this story.

Author’s Note 2: As usual, “word” indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

Author’s Note 3: This is story #8 in my own personal Christmas Fic-A-Day Challenge.

~/~/~

Ministry of Magic
Undersecretary's office


"…and I want those writs issued immediately, do you understand me?"

The high-pitched, girlish falsetto of the speaker's voice clashed strenuously with the tone of voice and innate viciousness evident to anyone listening, to be sure. But the disparity was ignored by her obsequious brown-nosers, who were busily nodding their heads in deferential agreement before turning and rushing out of Umbridge's office, in a race to see who could accomplish her orders first.

"We cannot stand idly by and allow any of our greatest leaders, no matter how erroneous their views might be, to be struck down by subversive elements who seek to undermine the principles underlying the foundations of our entire world," Dolores Umbridge pretentiously declared, as she sat safely behind her desk in the confines of the Ministry building.

"We must be ever-vigilant and aware of those people jealous of the power and responsibilities we possess, and who would strike out at us because of petty envy and malice," she continued.

"This Potter child, who attacked the Headmaster without any provocation whatsoever, has clearly been unduly influenced by those muggles who were responsible for his upbringing, and we must exert our utmost efforts to gain control over him. Not only so that his erroneous beliefs can be corrected, but in order for his knowledge and power be guided into supporting the proper authorities, so that our entire world might benefit from his abilities."

"And, of course, you and Cornelius and your fellow Death Eater cronies are without a doubt the 'proper authorities' who will be helping oversee the boy's development, Dolores?" Director Amelia Bones stated as she walked, unannounced and uninvited, into the undersecretary's office.

The Director of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement had a wide, mocking smile on her face as she looked down at Dolores Umbridge, even as the batrachian-looking woman glared at her. Whether the look of mixed loathing and disdain Umbridge had on her face was due to the comment Bones had just made, or simply because both women despised each other, was basically immaterial; the opportunity to take a shot at someone she loathed wasn't something that Amelia was about to pass up.

And since it allowed her an opportunity to appear to their audience (since she was completely certain that all of Umbridge's minions were avidly listening to every word they spoke to each other, in the hopes that they might overhear something that might possibly allow them to one day gain the least bit of advantage) as though she were offering the woman sage advice, Amelia simply smiled at Umbridge and said, "Were I you, I'd be *very* careful about any efforts you might be considering taking against Mr. Harris' parents, Dolores.

"From what I understand, they are *extremely* influential in the muggle world, with a great deal of political power in addition to whatever sort of magic it is that they've apparently taught young Harry," Madam Bones declared, feeling secure in the knowledge that the odious little creature glaring at her from across her desk wouldn't even consider listening to anything she had to say.

"After all – who, exactly, do you think it was who influenced the King to order Dumbledore's arrest?" Amelia asked with a smirk, knowing that Umbridge wouldn't believe that anyone who wasn't a member of the Ministry might conceivably have enough power and influence to orchestrate such an occurrence.

In fact, Amelia knew full well that even the *concept* of any being not possessing a wand might possibly be able to command such power was simply something that Dolores would never be able to conceive of.

"Don’t be ridiculous, Amelia," Dolores' high-pitched voice declared loudly. "One of Albus' enemies must have confounded that muggle and instructed him to issue that warrant!

"Those muggles know better than to attempt to interfere in Wizarding matters," the toad-like woman went on, both vehemently and smugly.

"And only a blood traitor would even consider following such an absurd and preposterous order!" Dolores sneered, as her dislike of the woman looking down at her seemed to override whatever vestiges of common sense she might have possessed.

"Trying to arrest Dumbledore because he was trying to correct what was obviously some dishonest, politically-motivated and underhanded scheme clearly intended to allow muggles to gain control of the Potter heir? You obviously must be part of the group behind this conspiracy!" Umbridge half-shouted.

"You had best think carefully before you speak to me like that again, Dolores," Director Bones said in a low, carefully-controlled voice as she stared down at Umbridge.

"Because if you utter one more slur or insult against me, or anyone I work with or am related to, I'll be forced to challenge you to a magical duel. To the death," Amelia warned her enemy, her own lips curled in an equally vicious sneer. "Personal honor demands nothing less.

"Despite the fact that you obviously don't have any," the Director added for the benefit of their unseen audience.

In the privacy of her mind, Amelia laughed wildly as she watched the squat, unpleasant woman abruptly pale to a deathly pallor and snap her mouth shut instantly, a half-terrified expression on her face as Umbridge finally realized she almost crossed a line all her courage or magic would never be able to cope with.

"I, I, I'm late for a meeting which I need to be at," the Undersecretary began stammering as she quickly got up from her desk and very, *very* carefully picked up her wand from its spot on her desk, her fear-filled eyes never once leaving Amelia's unsmiling figure as she awkwardly maneuvered her ungainly form around her desk and backed out of her own office. Once in the apparent safety of the outer office, the toad-like yet ostensibly human woman quickly turned and left the area at a pace just shy of a dead run, calling over her shoulder, "Geraldine, I have a meeting I must attend. I'll return later!"

Watching the terrified woman hotfoot it away, Amelia allowed a small smile to crease her lips as she murmured to herself, "She's grown smarter since leaving Hogwarts.

"What a pity. Umbridge might actually have a chance of surviving insulting the Harrises."

With an indifferent shrug of her shoulders, the head of Magical Law Enforcement in the British Wizarding World turned around and headed back towards her office.

~/~/~

Potter Manor (under the Fidelius charm)
Main sitting room


"I still can't believe that your society is still adhering to such a ridiculous and denigrating, centuries-old stereotype!"

Harry could hear his Aunt Willow's grumbling (quite forcefully and indignantly) as he made his way down the main stairway from his bedroom in the Family wing of what the ghosts of his birth parents had informed him and the rest of his family was his ancestral home.

"I’m sorry, but I really don't understand what you're objecting to, Willow," he also heard Sirius saying as he let out another yawn as he entered the dining room.

"Morning, Mom. Morning, Dad. Morning, everyone," Harry smiled with true happiness as he nodded acknowledgement to the rest of his family who, for the most part, were casually slouched in their chairs around the table.

"How're you feeling this morning, Mom?" Harry specifically asked Buffy as he detoured and made a point of dropping a quick kiss on her cheek as she sat between his father and Aunt Dawn at the table. Harry automatically noted that her color was a lot better than it had been the previous night, and the fact that Buffy felt strong enough join the rest of the family for breakfast was a good sign that she was healing quickly.

"I'm fine, honey," Buffy beamed at him. "I'm still a little tired, but other than that, I'm good," she reassured him.

Glancing over at his father, Harry felt the residual worries that came from seeing his mother injured fade away as Xander gave him the same reassuring smile and nod his own agreement with/verification of his wife's statement.

As Dawn obligingly shifted down one seat and he seated himself in the chair next to his mother, Harry reflected to himself that the vast majority of kids his age probably wouldn't be nearly as accepting of their parents' being as seriously injured as his mother had been the previous day. But then again, the vast majority of people still weren't aware and/or as accepting of the existence of the supernatural, as anyone associated with the Council was.

And with that awareness came the concomitant realization that anyone who fought against the Darkness and the forces of evil ran a much higher risk of sustaining serious injuries in the course of their lives. Along with the realization that those who were consistently on the front lines of their war – which in Harry's case, meant pretty much all the members of his immediate family, in addition to the Council's Slayers and Hunters – also subsequently ran a much higher chance of getting hurt than your usual run of the mill citizen.

So, basically, Harry had grown up thinking that there was nothing unusual about visiting family members who'd ended up in the hospital as a direct result of fighting against things most people considered as nothing more than old wives' tales and legends.

"Really, Sirius, you don't think that the idea of witches flying around on brooms isn't the least bit demeaning to anyone who can use magic?" Harry heard Willow resuming the argument which his appearance had momentarily interrupted.

"No," his Wizarding godfather immediately replied, shaking his head and looking at the redheaded earth witch with a puzzled expression on his face.

"I mean, why would I?" Sirius continued. "How else would members of the Wizarding World want to fly? Oh, I'll agree that the Ministry's regulations over the past several decades have made it extremely difficult to import flying carpets into this country, but both Bluebottle and Ellerby and Spudmore have family model brooms that can transport up to six people. Still, your average wizard prefers his or her own personal, good old-fashioned broom..."

Harry smirked as his Aunt Faith laughed out loud and he noted that even his Uncle Oz's lips twitched the slightest bit at the initial surprised, and then outraged, look which encompassed his Aunt Willow's face at Sirius' comment. As his breakfast appeared on the table in front of him, he basically filtered out the redhead's ensuing semi-tirade against the promotion and furtherance of deprecating, condescending and patronizing stereotypes as he dug into the oatmeal, scrambled eggs, bacon (the proper hickory smoked kind he'd grown up eating – not the barely acceptable substitute rashers served at the school!), toast, hash browns, mixed fruit and large glass of milk the Potter house elves had provided him.

Harry’s contemplation of what he should do to keep up with his schoolwork was interrupted when he heard Aunt Dawn asking, "So, Remus. Have your contacts come up with any more leads about how this Riddle guy, who's after Harry, found out that your friend was the one who could tell him where Harry and his parents were hiding out?"

~/~/~

Department of Magical Law Enforcement
Level Two
Ministry of Magic
London, England


"Madam Director, here's the prisoner you wanted to see."

Amelia Bones looked up to see Aurors Kingsley Shacklebolt and Gawain Robards escorting Lucius Malfoy into her office.

The pale blond-haired wizard was clearly under the effect of a 'Silencio' spell, since his mouth was moving nonstop, although no sound was audible, and his normally pale-complected features were tinged a reddish hue as he furiously gestured towards her with his magic-nullifying manacled hands.

"Thank you, Kingsley. Please assist the prisoner to sit in that chair," Amelia instructed, indicating the sturdy wooden straight-back chair situated just off-center of the front of her desk.

As the two aurors proceeded to seat the 'suspect' in the designated chair, Amelia pressed a button concealed inside the right front drawer of her desk, subsequently activating multiple sets of privacy and anti-eavesdropping wards she'd had installed, all done independently of each other by separate teams of both independent contractors hired from Gringotts and by Unspeakables from the Department of Mysteries.

Once the wards had been raised, Amelia aimed her wand at Malfoy, who was struggling vigorously against the restraints built into the chair (which were holding him effortlessly, it should be noted) and said simply, "Stupefy."

The red bolt of light shot from her wand's tip and impacted against the alleged Death Eater, who had been glaring at her ferociously until he was rendered unconscious.

With that task accomplished, Amelia then reached inside the left upper desk drawer and pressed a second button, this one secreted on the underside of the desktop, before then turning and gesturing towards the rear of her office.

"Sham-Fu says, Presto-chango, show me what you got," Madam Bones incanted as she pointed her wand at a spot on the rear wall of her office approximately four feet above the floor, which blurred and shimmered for an instant before then resolving itself into a small, blank-faced steel door about a foot square.

Amelia nodded to Kingsley and said, "You first, old friend," as she gestured towards the steel door.

"Open sesame, if you please," the towering ebony-complected auror said in a clear, measured voice as Kingsley pointed his wand at the small door. A small pulse of orange-tinted energy sped forward and impacted in a splash of sparks against the upper-left corner of the door, although without any apparent lasting effect.

Looking over towards Robards, Bones nodded her head, and he repeated the same phrase his fellow auror had spoken an instant earlier. Although this time, the blip of orange energy struck the lower right-hand corner of the door in a small splatter of sparks. Again, there was no apparent effect on the spell's target.

Nodding her head at the seeming lack of results, Amelia then aimed her own wand at the center of the steel door and slowly and clearly enunciated, "Open sesame, as I please." The orange dart rocketed forward and hit the center of the door squarely, and the door seemed to slowly sublimate away into nothingness, revealing a cabinet-like space behind it, which held an intricately-decorated stone or ceramic basin.

Removing the bowl from its cleverly-concealed storage space, Shacklebolt placed it on Amelia's desk, while Robards placed a wooden box taken from the space to the rear of the bowl next to it.

Moving with a practiced ease which indicated that all three of them had performed this series of actions numerous times in the past, Amelia opened the box and removed a large crystal vial from inside, which she then opened and whose silver-hued contents she then decanted into the basin.

Using his wand, Robards released Malfoy from his bonds and then levitated him out of the chair. He maneuvered the man's insensible form above Bones' desk, so that his head was situated above the basin, before them slowly lowering him, until his face was actually *immersed* in the silver-colored fluid.

"Integrum restituere," Bones incanted as she pointed her wand at both Malfoy and the basin, and the fluid seemed to be absorbed into Malfoy's skin and head.

Robards then returned Malfoy to the chair before then casting a 'Rennervate' on the semi-comatose man. As Bones reclaimed her chair and Shacklebolt and Robards took seats around her desk, Lucius Malfoy stirred and began shaking his head, as though he was waking up from a sound sleep.

"Amelia?" the ostensible Death Eater said as he looked up at the Director of Magical Law Enforcement, his tone of voice completely different from what might be expected under normal circumstances. He then straightened up, staring at the Director without a trace of hostility on his face. "Good morning, madam."

"Good morning, Lucius," Amelia smiled at her deep-cover agent. "It's been a while since the last time we spoke.

"Now, I need an update on everything that Riddle's followers have been doing since your last report, and an explanation of why you didn't give me any warning about his planned attack on Hogwarts…"

~/~/~

Author's Post-script: 'Integrum restituere' means 'restore to its former condition.'
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